The patient plays an essential role in their own therapeutic care. They should become more familiar with their disease in order to recognise the warning signs. They also play a role in treatment adherence and compliance. This will ensure that the disease is controlled as well as possible.
Lupus often causes photosensitivity, so it is important for patients to protect themselves effectively from the sun by wearing clothes that cover the skin, but also by using a hat, glasses and definitely a sun cream with a high protection factor.
Since the contraceptive pill makes flare-ups of lupus more likely, the use of a different method of contraception such as a diaphragm, condom or even spermicide is recommended.
Due to the risks of cardiovascular damage associated with lupus, it is strongly advised for patients to stop smoking. Tobacco also reduces the effectiveness of the anti-malarial drugs used in the treatment of lupus.
It is preferable to avoid being overweight because the excess weight worsens joint symptoms as well and leads to a deterioration in general condition.
LUPUS IN DAILY LIFE
SLE does not contraindicate pregnancy. This was not the case several years ago, when it was forbidden for women suffering from lupus to fall pregnant. However, the pregnancy should be monitored closely and carefully if the lupus has been well controlled for at least 18 months. The pregnancy may stimulate the immune system and may provoke a flare-up of the lupus in the mother. The mother will also produce antibodies that could cause blood clots, which is why treatment with blood thinners is required.
Lupus patients also often ask whether their disease could affect their ability to work. Many people with lupus can continue to work normally, with some adjustments being necessary to reduce stress and pain.
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Last updated: 18/12/2019